Successful non-resident Indians should follow the example of India’s independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, who also spent many years abroad, by becoming involved in their homeland’s economic and political development, according to Mr. Gandhi’s grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi.

Professor Gandhi, a scholar and political commentator, was in Atlanta Jan. 24-Feb. 11 as the Distinguished Fellow of the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning at Emory University. He is a research professor at the Centre for Policy Studies in New Delhi and has served as a member of the Upper House of India’s Parliament.

During a presentation at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, he said that Mohandas Gandhi would never have become influential if he had not lived abroad in South Africa for 21 years and the United Kingdom three years.

As his grandfather honed his nonviolent philosophy and political skills while living outside of India, he said, many Indians have learned how to develop successful companies abroad. “Indians do well in the U.S. and Europe,” he said.  “I often wonder why Indian soil is not conducive to enterprise.”

Later in the presentation, he answered his question somewhat facetiously: “After navigating their way through the Indian system, they found that life outside India was much easier.”

Citing common U.S. and Japanese complaints about doing business in India such as undeveloped communication and transportation infrastructures, bureaucratic red tape and corruption, he underlined the country’s lack of support for primary education as a major deterrent to economic progress.

At the conclusion of the presentation, he volunteered to assist any non-resident Indian who was looking for business opportunities in India. These requests, he told GlobalFax, should be addressed to the Halle Institute by calling (404) 727-7504, sending a fax to (404) 727-2772 or by e-mail to